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tv   BBC World News America  PBS  April 7, 2017 2:30pm-3:01pm PDT

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>> this is "bbc world news america." funding of this presentation is made possible by the freeman foundation, newman's own foundation, giving all profits from newman's own to charity and pursuing the common good, kovler foundation, pursuing solutions for america's neglected needs, and aruba tourism authority. >> planning a vacation escape that is relaxing, inviting, and exciting is a lot easier than you think. you can find it here in aruba. families, couples, and friends can all find their escape on the island with warm, sunny days, cooling trade winds, and the
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crystal blue caribbean sea. nonstop flights are available from most major airports. more information for your vacation planning is available at aruba.com. >> and now, "bbc world news." tim: this is "bbc world news america." reporting from washington, i am tim willcox. america's rhetoric in action. just days after a chemical attack in syria, the trump administration unleashes a barrage of cruise missiles. president trump: tonight i call on all civilized nations to join us in seeking to end this slaughter and bloodshed syria. tim: russia, bashar al-assad's ally, accuses washington of a violating international law and damaging the fight against terrorism.
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and in other major news today can at least 4 people are dead and many more injured after a truck plows into shoppers in the swedish capital of stockholm. ♪ tim: hello. welcome to our viewers in america and also around the globe. the u.s. is carried out it's the first military airstrike against the assad regime in syria, an act that has exposed a world divided. america's allies were quick to applaud the move, while russia and iran heaped on condemnation. but less than 24 hours after the strike, syrian warplanes are reportedly once again taking off from the air base. tonight we have full coverage , we begin with north america editor jon sopel, who is with president trump in florida.
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jon: it was after dark on the coast of america before the sun , had risen in the middle east, when the commander-in-chief gave the order to strike. from u.s. warships in the two eastern mediterranean, a volley of cruise missiles was fired, targeting a single military airbase outside homs. it was for where they launched the deadly chemical attack in idlib earlier in the week. president trump it is in the : vital national security interest of the united states to prevent and deter the use of deadly chemical weapons. there can be no dispute that syria used banned chemical weapons, violated its obligations under the chemical weapons convention, and ignored the urging of the un security council.
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jon: the grotesque aftereffects of the attack, the u.s. believe the nerve agent sarin was used -- horrified the world, and more importantly, horrified this president. a line had been crossed, and unlike his predecessor, he was going to act. president trump: assad choked out the lives of hopeless men, -- helpless men, women, and children. it was a slow and brutal death for so many. even beautiful babies were cruelly murdered in this very barbaric attack. no child of god should ever suffer such horror. jon: what is truly astonishing, dizzying even, is the speed at which this administration changed its policy towards syria and decided to act. at the beginning of the week president trump saw bashar al-assad as a useful ally in the fight against the so-called
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islamic state. there was no talk of regime change. but the chemical weapons attack changed everything, and within two days targets had been , identified and struck. here is what we know about the attack 59 tomahawk cruise , missiles were launched from 2 destroyers. the airbase is some 20 miles from homs, deep in syrian government-held territory. targets included aircraft, their shelters fuel depots, air , defenses, and radar sites. forcesause of russian are also deployed at the base russia was informed in advance. , >> the aftermath shows damage and degree of the based on how -- but hardly devastation. the pentagon says he did not particularly target the runways as they can be quickly repaired. the aim was to destroy the infrastructure that allows the base to function. and the attack has brought the president strong support. senator rubio: the president was authorized to conduct the strike.
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he is not asking for a declaration of war or committing ground troops. he was dealing with extra and circumstances and as commander-in-chief, he has not only the right but the obligation to act. jon: hillary clinton has also backed the president's action, but with this qualification. ms. clinton: we cannot in one breath speak of protecting syrian babies and in the next close american doors to them. [applause] jon: the president and his team at the makeshift the situation room at mar-a-lago, as they await news of the strike. donald trump, who do not want to get embroiled in foreign conflicts, has just ordered u.s. forces into action. and as he ended his address to the nation last night, he note -- no longer sounded like the america-first isolationist. president trump: good night, and god bless america and the entire world. thank you. jon: the president, not yet 100 days in, has traveled a long way in a short time.
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jon sopel, bbc news, palm beach, florida. tim: russia was quick to respond to the u.s. airstrikes, saying they violated international law. moscow went even further to say that president trump's actions encourage terrorists in the region, including the islamic state in syria. our moscow correspondent steve rosenberg has the latest with russia's response. >> until recently, the russian media have been singing donald trump's praises, but no longer. today, state tv accused him of unprovoked show of force with a missile strike he ordered on a syrian air base. less than half of the missiles fired, moscow claimed, had hit their target. still, russia condemned the attack as a gross, groundless violation of the international rulebook. , it is definitely an aggressive act against international law, against a sovereign country.
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and without any true evidence of the assad regime being guilty of using chemical weapons. steve: it is russian military power that has been keeping president assad in power. russia's air force and navy helping syria's leader turn the tide of the country's civil war and boosting moscow's role in the middle east. today, the kremlin accused washington of inventing a pretext for the missile strikes. those american tomahawks may be targeting the syrian military, but judging by what the kremlin has been say, it is u.s.-russian relations will take a real battering now as a result of the missile strike. the russians had been hoping that with donald trump in the white house, relations with america would improve. so far, there has been no sign but of that. later, they countries clashed at two the un security council. ambassador haley: it could be that bush is knowingly allowing
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weapons to remain in syria. a good be that russia has been incompetent in its efforts to remove the chemical weapons. or it could be that the assad regime is playing the russians for fools. >> i would ask america not to insult my country, said russia's deputy ambassador. today, moscow suspended a deal designed to prevent incidents between u.s. and russian warplanes over syria. >> which means of that we have two big military powers in the area operating without any contact and coordination, which is very dangerous. steve: russia is hoping that this u.s. and strike was a one-off. but tonight it is a strengthening air defenses across syria just in case. steve rosenberg, bbc news, moscow.
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tim: earlier i was joined by william cohan who now says that bbc world affairs analyst. let's start with the strike itself? tim: until this week's was this the right response? >> i think it was. this is the second time we have seen chemical weapons being used, there was more times, but the is the second time world has seen this. i don't think we can allow any country to engage in that kind of a barbarous activity without any response. i think we have a very little choice but to send a signal that this is unacceptable and not to repeat it. nim: but this is a
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-- the entire world community ought to come down on president to attend and what he has allowed to happen. i know this is something important to him, that he wants to be respected as the leader of a great country, but you have to earn that respect and act respectful of others. he has not done so, and has associated himself with assad and kim jong un on in korea. pressure all to be on russia now to say that we want to be members of the international community and not support this kind of terrorist activity of shar al-assad's government on in the said people. dangerous of a
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period are we entering now? think it is pretty dangerous. which is why i would hope president trump would also seek a diplomatic solutions including allowing a number of these poor women and children who have been attacked to come into the united states and other western countries. that has to be part of the equation as well. but again, pursuing economic sanctions, other restrictions against syria and also russia if necessary. tim: this overshadows everything that is happening in mar-a-lago with president xi. rex tillerson, secretary of state, has given an off-camera briefing today. regarding north korea, he said the u.s. would go its own way if necessary. what do you anticipate happening on that front? mr. cohen: first, let me say it is a positive development that
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president xi and president trump met. i was in china a few weeks ago and made the point that the substance of this meeting is as as simple as namely two of the great leader shaking hands, saying we've got problems but let's work our way through them. this is one of the problems we have to work our way through. i would hope that we would be able to persuade president xi and the chinese leadership to use my influence than they currently have to cause a change in the regime's course of action. and if that can happen, then the united states is going to take other measures, including economic and diplomatic to try to bring about a change in the regime. we cannot sit back and allow someone like kim jong-un to develop a nuclear capability of striking that of the united states or allies. tim: thank you very much indeed. now, you are watching "bbc world news america." at least four people are dead and 15 injured in stockholm after a truck was driven into a crowd of pedestrians.
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the swedish prime minister says everything suggests it was an act of terrorism. the incident happened midafternoon on a busy pedestrian shopping street where the truck eventually crashed into a department store. tonight police arrested a man , who they say resembles images they released on cctv after the attack. our correspondent, dan johnson has just sent this report from , the swedish capital. dan panic and confusion on the : streets of another european capital. >> the people are scared. reporter: people running in terror as a truck races towards shoppers in the center of stockholm. and this is where it ended up, in flames after crashing into a department store. >> i saw exactly where the lorry went in adjusted there. there wasn't much overreaction. then the police arrived. the police just said "you have to run." >> i could see bodies on the street and police covering the bodies with an orange blanket.
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there were lots of police, lots of people standing around and filming, taking photos. dan: the truck belongs to a brewery company who said a man hijacked it earlier as it was dropping off beer. the bluntest of weapons used to deliver a sudden and deadly blow that has hit sweden hard. laying with a lady a severed foot. there was blood everywhere, bodies on the ground everywhere. the sense of panic. people standing by their loved ones, but also running away. dan so many questions. : first, who was involved and why? police quickly released images of a man they wanted to question and within hours they made an arrest. >> earlier we released a picture of a person of particular interest to the investigation, and a short while ago we apprehended a person that matches that description. dan: and sweden's prime minister
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said his country wouldn't give in to terror. >> thoughts, concerns, and condolences have reached many of us from all around the world, and we are grateful for the many warm expressions of sharing our grief. we are determined never to let the values that we treasure democracy, human rights, and byreedom to be undermined hatred. reporter: after-hours under lockdown, at least some normality is returning to the city. the metro has reopened and people are returning. there is an uneasy feel here tonight. this has shaken people in the city. the police are visible in number and there are already extra checks at sweden's borders. already some are saying this is a wake-up call for the security services. sweden has a proud history as an open society that in braces all. -- that embraces all.
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it is now the latest corner of europe forced to confront death so sudden, so shocking. tim: you are watching "bbc world news america." still to come on tonight's program, something i hope to help lift your spirits. we are up, up, and away with balloons, trying to break a world record. thousands of protesters in south africa are taking part in demonstrations calling for president jacob zuma to step down. the marches in pretoria, johannesburg, cape town, and other locations across the country were called in response to mr. zuma's decision last week to sack his finance minister. our correspondent has this report from johannesburg. reporter: tens of thousands of people turned out to the streets of south africa's main city. here was the clear message, pressure for jacob zuma to step down.
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voices.t all hostile outside headquarters in johannesburg, loyalists dressed in fatigues sprang to defend mr. zuma. top figures it broke ranks publicly slamming his controversial cabinet reshuffle last week, which has sent investors into a panic. protesters are trying to keep up the momentum. a vote of no-confidence is still in the cards, but president them a has -- seizing back control. just how much damage have these events inflicted on the anc? township and you might find a clue. in spite of everything, loyalty to the anc runs as deep as the -- which the authorities failed to collect here.
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this image may not live up to the image of africa many have dreamt of. south africa is a new democracy where old problems still need to be fixed. channels may have thrown a -- in the works, but propped up by a remarkable history, party laurence lee -- loyalty still runs deep. tim: let's return to the u.s. airstrikes on syria. a quick response from senators on capitol hill who received a briefing this afternoon. our correspondent has been there all day. what has the reaction did there? laura: generally supportive, but yet again donald trump has managed to surprise lawmakers. within 24 hours, the man who first,"ed on "america
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and better relations with the russians has a brace the idea of america as a global policeman and alienated moscow in the process. there are many questions about what is next for syria policy. i've been speaking to senator rob portman, republican from ohio, who is worried about the direction of white house policy on the middle east and syria after the strike. senator portman: my concern is that both the obama administration and the first couple months of the trump administration -- which is understandable, they are getting their feet on the ground -- but we have not had a clear strategy . i think that is what we need here, a longer-term strategy for what is going on in syria and the region and specific issues, whether it is aleppo or these horrific chemical attacks, or these migration flows that have affected europe and turkey and jordan and other allies in such a direct way. laura: senator rob portman of ohio. now, while most lawmakers i've been speaking to agree that the president had the authority to carry out the limited strike,
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there are others who completely disagree, and i have been speaking to one of them, senator rand paul of kentucky. he is a conservative republican, an originalist, and he says the president does not have the authority to go ahead with a military strike without getting specific authorization from car -- congress. senator paul: i think it is about obeying the constitution. under our system, the president doesn't go to war without permission. the congress and the constitution, our founding fathers debated who should have the power to initiate war. so, when we wrote our constitution and said congress should initiate war and they specifically did, as madison said, because the executive is most prone to war. therefore, we took that power and gave that power to congress. so no president is elected go to , war legally without the authority of congress. laura: senator rand paul of kentucky. and democrats have asked for the house of representatives to come back from easter recess so they can debate syria policy. and certainly the feeling here , is that the president couldn't
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go further than he has without consulting congress. but the wider question is about what is policy on syria. is the administration going to support the idea of getting rid of assad, when only a week ago they were recognizing him as a political reality on the ground? so many, many questions, and , president trump has had a dramatic week here and a day in which he got his supreme court justice confirmed. tim: laura trevelyan, thanks very much indeed. well, as laura just mentioned, the u.s. senate confirmed president trump's nominee for the supreme court. neil gorsuch was confirmed by the majority after the vote on thursday to abolish a long-standing rule that no one needs to win by 60 votes.
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a tourist knocked into the river thames has died after a fortnight on life support. she had been visiting london with her boyfriend. that raises the number killed by the attack to five. -- aead april selah says playlist says he has been banned. the band comes up to several protests this week. you're watching "bbc world news -- news america." this morning 82 hot air balloons took off, hoping to break the world record for crossing the channel.
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did they manage it? will find out. lighty gathered at first in a field in kent. 7:00, sun rose at exactly the mass ascent began. 82 from across europe to set a new record. the pack drifted over dover's castle and cliffs. england was soon behind them as they headed 26 miles across the channel to mainland europe. >> this is fantastic, being out with so many other balloons. it's a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. reporter: we are right in the middle of the flight. can't see france can't see , england. all i know is i'm about the world's busiest shipping lane. and after three hours drifting above the sea, they arrived in france south of calais to the warmest welcomes.
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after three hours, 21 minutes, and 20 seconds, it was down to earth with the most gentlest of bumps. >> bend your knees. >> when we begin to see a little point in the sky, we are with the car and we tried to follow the course of the balloons and we are happy to see you. reporter: the pilots are confident they have broken the previous record of 49 balloons, but are waiting for confirmation they hold a new title. tim: wonderful pictures there above the channel. now, that just about wraps up tonight's show, you can find out much more on the website at /news.m
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including the latest on our top airstrikes ons syria. from me, tim willcox, it and the halting. we will see you again. -- and of the whole team. until we see you again. >> make sense of international news at bbc.com/news. >> funding of this presentation is made possible by the freeman foundation, newman's own foundation, giving all profits from newman's own to charity and pursuing the common good, kovler foundation, pursuing solutions for america's neglected needs, and aruba tourism authority. >> planning a vacation escape that is relaxing, inviting, and exciting is a lot easier than you think. you can find it here in aruba. families, couples, and friends can all find their escape on the
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island with warm, sunny days, cooling trade winds, and the crystal blue caribbean sea. nonstop flights are available from most major airports. more information for your vacation planning is available at aruba.com. >> "bbc world news" was presented by kcet, los angeles.
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captioning sponsored by newshour productions, llc >> woodruff: good evening. i'm judy woodruff. on the newshour tonight: the trump administration takes on the government of syria, ordering air strikes in retaliation for chemical weapons attacks. we look at the decision and what could come next. then: >> we have made tremendous progress in our relationship with china. >> woodruff: president trump touts deepening relations with china after his first summit with the leader of the world's other economic powerhouse. then, with passover just around the corner, we join celebrated chef joan nathan in her kitchen to talk about her new cookbook exploring jewish food from around the world.

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